For convenience: The best store-bought snacks II

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Today’s post is a follow-up to a store-bought snack list that I published last year. As dedicated as we are to eating real food and cooking meals from scratch, who doesn’t want a break from the kitchen? So here are several more of the “least-processed” store-bought snacks we could find that are great interspersed with fruits, veggies, and other whole foods. Most of these items are included on the “Supermarket Real Food Cheat Sheet,” but I thought I would take the time to highlight some of our favorites.

All of these products happen to be crunchy and 100% whole-grain (or whole food in the case of the potato chips) so hopefully they will add a little “real food” variety to your pantry. But as a reminder, when you are shopping around for these items never make any decisions based solely on the “whole-grain” health-claims on the front of the package. Always (and I mean always) verify what the product is made of by reading the ingredient label on the back. In the case of crunchy snacks some of the key ingredients to look for are “whole wheat,” “whole grain,” and/or “brown rice.” If the ingredient list contains any “wheat” or “rice” it is not 100% whole-grain so keep on looking!



Ak-Mak Crackers


These crackers don’t quite meet the 5-ingredient rule (which was one of our 100-day pledge rules), but they are one of the few cracker options out there made with 100% whole-wheat. So now that we don’t have to be quite as strict as we were during our real food pledge we indulge in these tasty sesame crackers often.
Where to find them:
I’ve found them available at most stores.


Whole-Wheat Matzo Crackers

I’ve actually been buying Matzo crackers for years to make one of my daughters’ most favorite breakfast dishes: Pan-Fried Matzo. So I was very pleased to learn that some brands offer a whole-wheat variety. And talk about finding the “least-processed” store-bought foods possible…these crackers only have 2 ingredients (one of them being water)! It doesn’t get much simpler than that. Aside from turning these crackers into a breakfast dish we also love to top them with goodies like pesto, goat cheese, tomatoes, pb&j, egg salad, and melted cheddar. Plus I wouldn’t want to forget to mention one of my favorite dinner dishes that we make with mashed up matzo crackers: Matzo Ball Soup. Yum!
Where to find them:
In Charlotte I cannot find the whole-wheat variety at Earth Fare, but they have two different brands available at Harris Teeter.

Kettle Baked Potato Chips


I must give a blog reader credit for telling me about these chips. I researched “baked” potato chips long ago, but I must have only looked at the “Baked Lays” brand, which is a chip-like concoction made from modified food starch, sugar, soy lecithin, and dextrose (among other things). So when someone emailed to tell me how great Kettle Brand “Baked” Chips were I just assumed it was the same scenario and they’d made a mistake. You can imagine my surprise in the chip aisle when I finally got my hands on a bag and realized there was no mistake. These chips are in-fact baked and made with the same three core ingredients as the deep-fried variety: potatoes, oil, and salt. Which makes them taste much more like the real thing than the Baked Lays version. Believe it or not these chips would even be allowed on the 10-day pledge. Hooray for being able to eat chips again!
Where to find them:
I’ve found them available at most stores including Earth Fare, Harris Teeter and Whole Foods.

Unique Whole Grain Pretzels

Out of all the different brands and varieties of pretzels sold it blows my mind that there aren’t more “100% whole-grain” options. In fact, these Unique Sprouted 100% Whole Grain “Splits” are one of only two whole-wheat pretzels that I could even find. The other choice is from Trader Joe’s, but they contain a small amount of corn syrup and I don’t think they taste as good as the Unique brand. The problem with these “splits” though is that I used to buy them from Earth Fare and they recently stopped selling them! So I guess I have no other choice than to occasionally stock up by ordering them online because we really miss having a good store-bought whole-grain pretzel around!
Where to find them:
Unique carries quite a few different varieties of pretzels, but the “splits” are the only ones I’ve found that are 100% whole-grain. Aside from ordering online, I am told that you might be able to find their “splits” at The Fresh Market, Whole Foods, and/or Wegmans.

Brown Rice Crackers

Since our family has no medical reason to be eating “gluten-free” I used to skip over the rice, spelt, and other wheat-alternative crackers. It wasn’t until I created the “Supermarket Real Food Cheat Sheet” that I realized there are actually a lot of good whole-grain cracker options in that section. And when you are tired of Triscuits and desperate for something new and “exciting” brown rice crackers start to sound pretty awesome! My older daughter especially loves the pictured Tamari Brown Rice Crackers, but my husband thinks they are a little high in sodium. My 6-year-old even nicknamed them “salt crackers” if that tells you anything. So I don’t buy them every week (they are also a little pricey), but I’ve found that they are great for an occasional treat or mixed into a homemade trail mix to help spread out the saltiness and the cost! The trick is to make sure you buy crackers that list “brown rice” or “brown rice flour” as the main ingredient. Anytime rice is colored (brown, black, red, etc.) it means that it’s whole-grain!
Where to find them:
I’ve found them available at Earth Fare.

Brown Rice Cakes

I am sure you’ve all heard of rice cakes. Whether you are a fan or not “Brown Rice Cakes” are 100% whole-grain and therefore another great addition to this list of crunchy snacks. Just as I mentioned with the brown rice crackers, as long as the ingredient list says “brown” in front of the word rice it means they are whole-grain. We like to top these cakes with hummus or peanut butter or mix them up into a trail mix as well. They aren’t our most favorite item on this list, but again when you are craving some variety it is good to have options!
Where to find them:
I’ve found them available at Earth Fare.


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46 comments to For convenience: The best store-bought snacks II

  • Courtney

    As I am new to this site and looking around, I found the list for snacks at the supermarket. Is it a combination of cutting out processed foods and incorporating organics wherever possible…. But not everything is organic? I am just curious, as I saw triscuits in the list.

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

      Hi Courthey. As much as you can purchase organic, that’s better. But, it’s not necessarily a requirement of “the rules”. Jill

  • Christa

    I just found your blog tonight, and I’ve been reading for two hours! This is awesome. But… I did want to clarify one thing you have posted above:
    “Since our family has no medical reason to be eating “gluten-free” I used to skip over the rice, spelt, and other wheat-alternative crackers. ”

    Spelt is NOT a gluten-free grain. It’s relatively low in gluten compared to modern wheat, but definitely on the no-no list for celiacs and gluten intolerant folks. I LOVE spelt.. it, in a nut shell, is what wheat used to be before they started doing decades of selective breeding and tinkering with it. I recently found that I may have developed celiac and am having to go on gluten-free diet to see if that is the problem. The only thing I’m really heartbroken about having to give up is my homemade honey spelt bread!

  • Kelly

    How about the “Simply” line of Lays products? I just saw the Simply Tostitos bag and it only has 3 ingredients: Organic Blue Corn, Expeller-Pressed Sunflower Oil and Sea Salt. Would this even be acceptable under the 10 day pledge?

  • Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

    No Kelly, sorry. The refined oil disqualifies it for the pledge. ~Amy

  • Lisa,you mention that the brown rice cakes aren’t a favourite of yours but have you tried spreading them with peanut butter and topping with (nice and ripe) sliced banana? It is amazing. Honestly, you could pass it off for dessert! You should try it :)

  • mari

    Under Kelly’s post…Expeller-Pressed Sunflower Oil? Can you tell me how that makes it refined? What is the real food criteria for oils? Expeller pressed does not use chemicals (similar to cold pressed), I don’t believe. I wonder if the chips are fried, so they are not allowed. But my question is about the oil.

    • Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi there Mari. Here is a post with a lot more information on oils: Also, Carrie, who wrote the above post addressed sunflower oil this way: “To answer some of the questions about sunflower oil – Sunflower oil contains over 50% omega-6 and minimal amounts of omega-3. Research continues to show the dangers of excess omega-6 oils in the diet so they should be strictly limited. Sunflower oil should not be consumed after it’s been heated. Sunflower oil is more stable than other oils but it is difficult to find a truly cold-pressed version of this oil. It’s better to reach for other oils such as organic coconut oil, butter, or ghee since they are higher in omega-3 fatty acids. (paraphrased from Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions)” Hope that helps. ~Amy

  • melissa crittenden

    KETTLE BRAND also makes organic chips and can be bought by the case straight from the company

  • melissa crittenden

    Scratch that…they arent baked…AND they can be bought by the case much cheaper at walmart online

  • Julia Franken

    Does anyone know where to find whole wheat graham crackers?

  • Amanda

    Just a side note on potatoes chips. Most of the chips I’ve come across have canola, or sunflower oil as their oil and recently I came across Jacksons Honest Chips that are made with coconut oil and the story behind them is sad yet pretty amazing. Check them out :)

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